Kros Comes to Kickstarter by Jerry Whitworth
Coming into the comic book industry around the same time over thirty years ago, John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake would have their first collaboration only a few years later beginning a friendship and partnership that has lasted decades. Grimjack, Firestorm the Nuclear Man, The Spectre, The Kents, Martian Manhunter, and various other projects would see the duo team to produce some of their best work of their careers and the upcoming Kros: Hallowed Ground looks to be another hit for the team. The American Civil War was the bloodiest war in the country’s history and Gettysburg was its most deadliest battle. For Kros, this carnage attracted legions of vampires hungry for the spilled blood and wounded soldiers. This flood of the undead would by extension attract Kros, vampire hunter and dampyr (part-human, part-vampire with powers of the latter but few of their weaknesses), uninterested in the politics of man and dedicated to the destruction of the undead. Preliminary art released for the project demonstrates some of the Gothic influences often found in Mandrake’s art with the operatic grandeur similar from his run on The Spectre. The coloring, tackled by Sian Mandrake (Convergence: Suicide Squad, Kill the Night), features a limited color palette reminiscent of photography from the period brilliantly giving the project a feel of the past it speaks upon.
In addition to the project itself, the Kickstarter campaign to publish the work is well done. Seeking nearly $50,000, as of this writing it is backed by more than a quarter of its goal in roughly its first week. Pledge levels are as low as one dollar (a thank you on the webpage and book’s pdf), five dollars (previous pledge plus thanks on Twitter), ten dollars (sketch card plus previous pledge), and fifteen dollars (pdf of the book plus various thank yous). The real meat-and-potatoes of pledge levels could likely be $25 (for a printed sketchbook, pdf, and various swag), $35 (printed book, pdf, and various swag), and various $45 pledges with various attached goodies like a Suttler’s Token or quick sketch from Tom Mandrake. Several add-ons are available such as for additional print copies of the book and sketchbook as well as the Suttler’s Token and Kros Regimental Patches. There is also a section for stretch goals that has not identified future levels as of yet. The campaign will end on July 30, 2015 at 1:25 pm EDT.